It’s been a while since I’ve visited my nana. I traveled so much last year, and then all the deadlines for work and such, I haven’t had time to see her as often as I like. So when my 96-year-old nana called me other day to take her out to “get some things,” I told her I’d be there Sunday.
Nana: Oh! Sunday! OK! Que hora?
I quickly Googled “How to say eleven in Spanish.” (I forgot, don’t judge!)
Me: La once!
Nana: 11? That works for me, I’m free all day. OK, see you then, I’ll be waiting at exactly 11. Don’t forget. I have important things I need to get!
Today – Domingo – comes around and Patrick was a little late from a morning errand. I called Nana’s retirement resort for them to let her know I’d be a few minutes late. “OK,” the attendant said. “She is sitting right here in front of me, I’ll tell her.”
I arrived to find Nana in the lobby, all dressed up, sitting in her wheelchair. Yes, she is in a wheelchair these days. Remember my past posts, when she refused the walker, but finally gave in? Well, now she has to use a wheelchair because she is so tiny and frail. Healthier than you or me, but just tiny. I was so excited to see her and catch up on all the news. There was a time period of about 10 years when I would take Nana out every Sunday for church, breakfast and shopping. Oh, the adventures we had!
But today was different. Nana was different. She started talking to me in fast Spanish. She forgot that I can’t understand. Her hearing isn’t as sharp and her thoughts were scattered. She didn’t wear her usual blush or lipstick. I felt my heart crush a little. I’ve known my Nana as the ultimate Cosmo Girl, she just happens to be 96. But I could tell that no matter hard hard she fought it, the age thing was catching up with her.
I realized that she wouldn’t be able to climb up in our Dodge Durango like she used to. So we couldn’t go out and drive anywhere. No shopping, no church, no lunch. We sat there for a moment and sighed. Bummed.
Just then she quickly wheeled past me towards the front door of the rest home.
“Come on, mijita, she said, looking back and waving her arm. “Let’s walk to the store and to lunch, I bet it’s a beautiful day out!”
I just kinda stood there with my mouth open. Walk to the store? Really?
I looked at the attendant at the front counter and asked if I could take Nana for a walk outside. “Go ahead,” she replied.
I had no idea where we were going, but I followed Nana outside and put my hands on the handles to push her. It kinda felt like I was helping her escape the compound.
“Let go, I can push myself, see?” she said, proudly. She wheeled away like a speedy champion.
“Nana, wait!” I hollered. Unfortunately, she wheeled herself into a dead end, lol. She laughed, and let me take charge to turn her around. She said she wanted to go to Walgreens down the street. So away we went! You know when you are driving and you see someone pushing an elderly person in a wheelchair and you think, “Oh, how sad, they don’t have a car?” I can totally relate now. There is a story for every situation! In our case, Nana wanted her Sunday myedate and nothing was going to stop her. I love her attitude!
“I hope you wore your walking shoes!” she giggled. She raised her hands up, as if to hug the air. “This feels so good, this is exactly what I needed, sunshine!” She asked to push her wheels again, so me, in the moment, I let go… only to discover the sidewalk was on a downward slope. I let go of Nana and she began to quickly glide away from me. She put her hands on her chest and I ran and then leapt to grab the handles. Panting from being out of breath. I was not going to let go again, that’s was for sure! We walked and walked and walked – and finally reached our destination.
Laaaaa! We arrived! We found out they don’t serve lunch. We almost bought Valentine candy but decided neither of us needed it, so we skipped the sugar. Nana needed stockings, so we found a corner of every kind of stocking under the sun. Nana looked a tad overwhelmed. I wondered why she needed pantyhose anyway, but decided not to ask. Turns out she needed knee-highs. On the very bottom row of the hose display, we found them – 2 pairs for a dollar!
Nana couldn’t believe it.
“Are you serious? Fifty cents for stockings? YES. YES. YES! Let’s get some in every color!” she said.
By the time she finished, she had 14 pairs of knee-highs in black, off-black, coffee, beige and white. As the check out lady rang them up, Nana asked, “Are these sturdy? I sure hope they last long! I hope they are not the cheap ones.”
The cashier smiled at me. I know she wondered the same thing – “What do you plan to use these for?”
Honestly, for .50 a pair, I wished I had bought some for crafting! Right?
And that was all Nana wanted from the store. We headed out, back to her home. With 14 pairs of knee-high stockings.
I couldn’t stay much longer because I had to pick up Maya from the airport, but boy, did me and Nana have a good laugh. It wasn’t at all about shopping, she wanted to spend time with me and hang out, have an adventure. That is how she stays young at heart. I love her so much. She is truly growing old gracefully. When I’m 95, I wonder if I’ll have my granddaughter wheel me to the craft store for yarn or glitter. Hmmm…
As for me today, thank goodness I wore my walking shoes!